While winter in northern Nevada is wonderful time to play outdoors (especially this year), sometimes it’s nice to hunker down and spend quality, family time inside the cozy confines of home. We have a few tips to sneak in exercise (without the kids even knowing it!) and get the family movin’ and groovin’ and focused on fitness.
Regardless of your children’s age, there is always something you can do as a family to get up and move, says Lynice Anderson, RD, CDE, LD, Registered Dietitian with Renown Health.
“You can even put on some music and dance in your living room – kids love that!” Anderson says.
Family exercise can be structured – a roaring game of Wii golf, anyone? – or unstructured, as Anderson noted, with an impromptu living room dance party. Anderson also suggests setting fun goals with healthy prizes. Score the most points exergaming? It’s family movie time!
Play Like a Kid
Simply put, you are never too old to play! Don’t worry about feeling silly during a game of indoor tag. Children love when you meet them at their level and participate in their favorite activities. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Sardines: This one’s a variation on hide-and-seek. One person hides and everyone else tries to find them. When you find the person who is hiding, you hide with them. The last one left looking gets to be the one to hide in the next round of the game.
Freeze: Choose your kids’ favorite music and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops and they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures.
Hula Hoop Freeze Dance: Give each family member a hula hoop. Have them try hula hooping with their waist, leg or arms as they keep moving while you play music. When the music stops, each person must freeze in place. Once the music begins, they can start hula hooping again.
Bowl-a-Rama: Small, empty water bottles and a rubber ball are all you need to transform the family room into a bowling alley. If the bottles fall over too easily, fill them up with a little water or dry pasta for some extra weight.
Combine Exercise and Household Chores
Create a “Chore Race.” Folding laundry, cleaning rooms, walking the dog or washing the dishes can be done in record time if they’re encouraged by an incentive. Whoever finishes first gets to choose the reward, like a favorite restaurant or trip to the park.
Make Time for Family Fitness
Designate a certain day or evening of the week as “Family Fitness Time.” Create a schedule for each family member to design the perfect family workout. Some examples include:
Family Yoga: Purchase a beginner-level yoga DVD, some inexpensive yoga mats and get your Namaste on!
TV Time Challenge: TV can be a relaxing family activity, but we know that too much sitting is not beneficial. Why not add a challenge for a healthy change? Write down exercises on paper and put them in a container. Every time a commercial comes on, grab a paper from the container and perform that exercise. Did you know the average hour-long television program has an average of 14 minutes of commercial time — that’s a lot of sit-ups!
The ideas for indoor family fitness are truly limitless! How do you keep your family moving, indoors or outdoors? Post your ideas below!